Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A report that acknowledges the research and development of our e-voting platform

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance  (IDEA) and the Andres Bello Catholic University (UCAB) presented a report a few weeks before the most recent Venezuelan Parliamentary elections in which they state that “the strength of the Venezuelan electoral process lies in the automated voting and vote-counting system (...) The voting system is totally automated and can be audited in all its phases”.

As a member of the Smartmatic family, it makes me very proud that such prestigious institutions validate the quality of our work. In the past I’ve read similar statements regarding our technology, however, this time around I felt compounded to write a post as I was part of the team that presented our system to the experts from IDEA and the UCAB who wrote the report.

One very important aspect that this report highlights is the level of trust that political party technicians have in the system. Trust is crucial in elections, and that is why we’ve made auditability one of our mantras. At Smartmatic we go to great lengths to guarantee that all interested parties check every single component of the system before, during and after each election. Our philosophy, and all the efforts that have gone into putting it in practice, have born positive results.

If I had to summarize the reasons for the success reflected in this report, I would use three words: technology, experience, and perseverance. 

For several years we have invested lots of time and energy in our Research and Development labs.  There, we have developed unrivaled technology to service the needs of our clients, always upholding the strictest quality controls. The system that is praised today by the most important election observation missions in the world was designed by technicians with a very high level of expertise in the areas of security and platform scaling. No secret here. Technology is a key part of this success story.

But another aspect of our success, which might not be as visible but is certainly key, is experience. While carrying out election projects in contrasting contexts such as Belgium, Zambia, the US, Venezuela or the Philippines, we’ve accumulated a wealth of experience that is second to none in the industry; experience that can’t be taught in a classroom or found in a book. 



And that brings me to my third point. Experience can only be obtained through hard work and determination –and by the way, it is the only way to build a good reputation in the world of elections. Our perseverance has allowed us to count 2.5 billion votes in elections in 5 continents; something that is much easier said than done.

This recognition comes as a pat on the back for all those who have contributed with commitment and dedication to the success of each one of the 14 elections that have been conducted in Venezuela. Thousands of people have worked passionately to overcome the challenges that have risen during these elections. I’d like to congratulate all of them.

Salvador Sosa